Atlanta, GA Whitehall Street Fire, Aug 1919

Whitehall Street, early 1900s, photo from familyoldphotos.com

BIG CROWDS SEE FIREMEN BATTLE $100,000 BLAZE

Police Are Called Upon to Hold Back People and Give Firefighters Opportunity to Work.

MEN FIGHTING FIRE HAVE NARROW ESCAPE

Building Occupied by Tarbo Soda Fountain and the Home Art Supply Company Destroyed by Blaze.

Fire of unknown origin destroyed the three-story building at 172 Whitehall street and caused about $100,000 damage early Tuesday night. The building was occupied by the Tarbo soda fountain and the Home Art Supply company.

Shortly after 6 o'clock, when the streets are crowded with people hurrying home from business, flames were seen to shoot high from the back part of the building. The firemen responded quickly, but the fire must have had a good start for when they arrived the building was a roaring furnace.

The firemen could not attack the building from close quarters, owing to the intense heat, and so thick was the crowd that police were called to hold them back. The fire, which was in the back part of the building, near the top floor, fanned by a light breeze, worked its way to the first floor and broke out in the front of the ground floor near the front.

Although the firemen worked for more than an hour, the flames could not be controlled, and it was by great effort that the stock of the Atlanta Leather company, on the right of the building, was saved from the blaze. M. W. MOSS, manager of the leather company, declares that the damage by water and smoke will reach about $25,000.

Shortly before 8 o'clock the roof of the building fell in and the burning embers scattered in all directions and the firemen who were at work on the edge of the roof narrowly escaped injury. Trolley traffic was held up for more than three hours. The building was owned by the GEORGE BOYNTON estate.

The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, GA 13 Aug 1919